The Owosso Community Players will present the musical “Sister Act,” (a stage adaptation of the 1992 film) June 16 through 18 and 23 through 25 at the Lebowsky Center. 122 E. Main St. in Owosso. The story revolves around disco diva Deloris Van Cartier, played by first-time OCP actress Savannah Fisher, a musical theatre major at Western Michigan University. After witnessing a murder, Deloris is put into protective custody in an unlikely place — the Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith: a convent of tone-deaf singing nuns. Deloris finds convent life a bit restrictive, according to director Garrett Bradley. “But ultimately her experience is very rewarding for herself and the other sisters.”
At first, Deloris struggles to get along with the reserved Mother Superior, played by Mandy Bashore. Because the church is struggling to stay afloat financially, Mother Superior is forced to acknowledge the good that Deloris is able to do through her unconventional music. “This show is hilarious,” Bashore said, “But best of all, it is also so very touching. I love the heart!”
Although the story’s premise is the same as the 1992 film that starred Whoopi Goldberg, the stage version of “Sister Act” features all new music by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors). While the movie featured familiar songs from the 1960s, the Broadway musical is filled with driving disco songs. “I’m sure the audience will want to get out of their seats and groove with the nuns,” said Rachael Cupples, who plays Sister Mary Patrick, a stand-out in the “new” choir now led by Deloris.
“I enjoy playing the role of Deloris because the character has so much confidence in herself, and because she ultimately changes the lives of others forever with her talent, motivation, and presence,” said Fisher, who has commuted from Westland to play this role. She previously performed with Stagecrafters in Royal Oak and recently appeared as Glinda in WMU’s production of The Wiz.
Choreographer Erica Duffield created a number of rousing dance numbers for the nuns, as well as for scenes in the nightclub. “There is a very high energy level required of this cast, and it is certain to be contagious for the audience,” she said. The cast includes 17 nuns, a monsignor, a handful of mobsters, and some club dancers.
“The script is way funnier than the movie,” said producer Dana Clark, “Especially the bumbling mobsters who are searching for Deloris.”
Clark says the comedy, along with all the singing and dancing, make this show one of the most entertaining she has ever worked on, but also the most challenging in the number of instant scene changes. Set designers Dirk Rennick and Dan Wenzlick have utilized some innovative means to keep the show moving seamlessly, according to Clark.
The show features a live 12-piece orchestra under the direction of Jill Boots. Show times for “Sister Act” are 8 p.m. June 16, 17, 23, and 24; and 3 p.m. June 18 and 25. Adult tickets are $20, plus a $1.50 service fee, with senior and student tickets available for $18, plus the $1.50 service fee. Tickets can be purchased at www.owossoplayers.com, or by calling (989) 723-4003. During show weeks, box office hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Show sponsors are Pleasant View and Daystarr Communications.